TORONTO — Miguel Andújar is already making an impact with his new team.
Since being claimed off waivers by the Pirates this week, including his first at-bat on Wednesday afternoon, the ex-Yankee is 3-for-8 with two doubles and five runs batted in.
On Tuesday night, Andújar slugged a go-ahead, three-run double off the top of the wall in left-center field at PNC Park in a win over the Reds, his first extra base hit in his new uniform.
He ripped another double in his first at-bat on Wednesday, this time off another former Yankee, Luis Cessa.
Andújar was designated for assignment by the Yankees last week, ending his 11-year tenure within the Yankees organization. The 27-year-old previously requested a trade from New York this summer, wanting to suit up for a team that would give him consistent playing time.
So far, he's getting his wish in Pittsburgh.
“I’m super happy to be here,” Andujar told reporters leading up to his debut in a Pirates uniform. “When I heard the news, I was happy to come here. It’s really exciting.”
It certainly seems like Andújar will have an opportunity to show what he can do as a regular in Pittsburgh's lineup. He's been penciled in a few times as the Pirates' designated hitter so far, making his debut in left field on Wednesday.
Whether he's just hitting or moving around the diamond on defense—he can also play third base and first base—that's better than the alternative, playing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the Yankees' system, biding his time for a starter to get hurt in the Bronx.
“For me, if I’m in the game, I’m happy,” Andujar said. “That’s what I want.”
If he can recapture his form from his rookie season—when he came in second in the race for the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2018—then the Pirates snagged an absolute steal on the waiver wire. He hasn't been able to produce at that clip over the last four years since then, though. He'll need to stay healthy as well.
“I think I just had a lot of confidence [in 2018],” Andujar added. “I think playing every day helped me get into a good routine and I could be the best version of myself out on the field.”
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